Alan Blinder states the case against going over the “fiscal cliff” and presents his counter-plan:
First, avoid the cliff by settling on the broad outlines of a budget agreement and then kicking some cans down the road. Specifics can come later. (By the way, please don’t kick all the cans to the same stopping point again.)
Second, as “earnest money” toward an eventual deal, join hands and enact something Republicans dislike and something Democrats dislike. It will show you are serious.
Third, extend the debt limit at least until the budget deal is completed, which could easily take months.
I don’t see how this plan, particularly the second step, can be reconciled with the idea of politics as a zero-sum game in which making your opponent lose is the object.